Many people eat potatoes in the form of French fries, potato chips, or baked and loaded with fats like butter, sour cream, and bacon. While tasty options, those variations are potential contributors to poor heart health. Yet if un-fried and void of the fattening toppings, a baked potato is a healthful, low calorie, high-fiber food that is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, and manganese (just be sure to eat the skin). So how would I celebrate the potato while keeping it heart healthy? Well, I decided to bake the potato in the microwave for eight minutes. When it was cooked, I cut it open, scooped out the inside and placed the contents into a bowl. To that, I added in a Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge. The warmth of the potato melted the cheese immediately and created a really creamy, wonderfully aromatic mixture. Now, I noted that the skin is full of fabulous nutrients, so of course I would be including it! I stuffed the mixture of cheesy, potato goodness back into the skin. The cheese wedge only added 1.5 grams of fat to the potato and a measly 35 calories. So the entire potato contained 173 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. Compare that to a conventional loaded baked potato or side of fries! I must say that the flavor and texture were not compromised by any means!
Now along with the potato, I needed to complete the meal with other components that also promoted heart health. I decided to season an organic chicken breast with garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and basil, and steamed it. When the chicken was cooked through, I diced it into smaller pieces and tossed it with two cups of steamed spinach and ¼ cup of organic tomato sauce. Chicken is a great source of protein that is low in fat, but high in niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, and phosphorous. Spinach and tomatoes are also full of nutrients that provide powerful antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancers and heart disease.
This meal was a total success! It was absolutely delicious and food I could enjoy knowing that I was bettering my health in the process! So I encourage all of you to give it a shot! Toss aside the box of Ramen or leftover pizza and get adventurous in the kitchen. You may surprise yourself. When you eat cleaner and healthier food, you may notice you start to feel a bit better too! Below is the nutritional information and a picture of this celebratory and tasty meal!
Calories: 347, Fat: 3.5 grams, Carbohydrates: 39 grams, Fiber: 6 grams, Protein: 35 grams